What Kind of Massage Do You Do?

What kind of massage do you do?

This question has always given me pause. The answer I usually give is “I have 19 years massage experience, have been trained in many modalities and customize your massage based on your needs that day.”  My go to massage is probably best described as a “firm relaxation” type.  I can get into the technical terms but who outside of the trade is going to get Myofascial, Swedish, Esalen, Sports, Deep Tissue, Infant, Pre-/Post-natal, Chair, Lymphatic Massage, Trigger Point, Neuromuscular Massage, Body Mobilization, Aromatherapy, Cupping, Hot Stone, Chair Shiatsu, Oncology, Geriatric, Hospice and Health Care Massage Support?  In fact, they have probably stopped listening around Esalen.

The truth is that I incorporate multiple modalities into each session. I try to work at a pressure level to release your muscles without causing you pain.  I only incorporate deep tissue techniques per clients request or after getting their permission.  Oftentimes in this industry a previous MT has caused pain versus relief causing a person to shy away from massage in the future, which is unfortunate.  I am dumbfounded when a new client exclaims that they didn’t know that massage wasn’t painful.  More client education needs to explain that open communication both before and during, if needed, is the key to an excellent massage.  There is no thing as a typical massage, but the massage your body needs. My aim is to provide you with that massage EVERY TIME.


Post-Op Massage

Another reason why Massage is AWESOME

Did you know that massage can speed up your body’s ability to heal?  Yes through massage, we are able to reduce swelling, provide pain relief, improve circulation.  By doing that you feel better, sleep better and recover faster.  Massage is effective, especially when done under a doctor’s care, which is why I work with your medical team whenever possible.  When massage can start depends on your procedure, I have been working on clients as soon as the day after.

Over the past 18 years I have worked with many clients recovering from a wide variety of  surgeries (ex. knee replacements, shoulder surgery, hip replacement, open heart surgery, mastectomy, back surgery).  More and more, I have begun to work with clients who have undergone cosmetic surgery, especially liposuction (ex. Tummy Tuck, Brazilian Butt Lift, Mommy Makeover, Breast Reconstruction, Spider Vein treatments).

While recovering from surgery,  you need some support.  One client recently told me that she loved  that I was working with her several times a week  (right after surgery) and was able to talk to her about how her body was recovering.  She appreciated the whole body approach to recovery, meaning we customize the massage to your needs that day.  When you decide on surgery, you are investing a lot of resources into making that happen.  You need someone experienced who is focused on your recovery.

If you are considering surgery, contact me to see if massage works for you.


Hosting even when you are “too busy”

Many times over the past year, people have asked me if I am crazy to even think about hosting an exchange student.  My usual answer is “no more than normal”.  Given my household of 5 people, two working parents (one with their own business), three diagnoses (in our house ADHD doesn’t even ruffle a feather), and an 80 lb. neurotic black lab, we can be considered fairly busy.  But hosting an exchange student is one of the best things our family has done.

It focuses us on doing things now, because we only have THIS year with our student. Often in the past, I’ve said “maybe next year we’ll do that”, not this year.  Sometimes they are planned events but also we get in spontaneous adventures, like walking on an icy lake, an evening board game, sending the kids to the Lake Harriet Bandshell or trying a new food just because we can.   Get a big, Dry Erase calendar, start planning throughout the year and have some fun.

It also expands your family’s world in many ways.  I can tell my kids about other perspectives or I can show them.  This year has taught them more about the world, the US, culture, stereotypes, different perspectives and love than most things taught in school.  Each of them have learned more about themselves, and I think they are stronger because of it.

Some frequent questions I get-

What if there is a problem?  You need to go with an established organization that can provide answers to frequent questions and support.  Call up your local high school counselor’s office and ask what organizations they recommend in their school.  If in doubt, go AFS.org that is the organization that I was an exchange student, host mother and volunteer for over many years.  Good organizations will work with you to find a great student that works in your family and will work with you and your student throughout the year.  Many problems start as communication and/or cultural and it’s good to recognize when that happens.  In my family, I have yelled at each of my exchange kids as well as my own-because “that is what happens in a normal family environment” and guess what?  Someone apologized and we went right on with our day.  Disclaimer- Teenagers from other countries aren’t perfect any more than American teenagers.

Is it expensive?  It doesn’t have to be.  Host families only need to provide the student with their own bed and meals (in home & school- if they are going out with friends they can pay for it on their own).  Ask the High School if the exchange students have a discount for activity fees. In our family, we did a bit more travelling this year because we love travel and our family was excited to show our student some places, so off we went.

But I’m a single parent/single person/retired/no kids/have toddlers?  I’ve seen successful host families in each of these situations (and have been a few of them).  All that matters is- Are you interested in that student and their experiences here in the US?  If so, host.

I do need to warn you, you will love these kids and you will be heartbroken when they leave.  Indeed, that is a sign of a successful hosting experience. On the bright side, you will hopefully be in contact with them for the rest of your lives. Anika, from Germany has  come back several times (and will again), Katerina just had a baby in the Czech Republic and my parents will be holding that baby later this month.  In June, I will be attending the wedding of Diego, my Ecuadorian son.  June is “busy” for our family but I wouldn’t miss that experience for the world.


Massage MadLibs

As many of you have been or plan to travel. One of my clients suggested a Massage themed MadLibs , and I said “I had to do it”. Let me know how you like it. Please email me (info@relaxationadvantage.com) your responses or post them on our FB page (Relaxation Advantage Massage) and I will draw a winner on August 15th for a $10 Target or Caribou Card (winners choice).

MADLIBS
1. Feeling: __________________
2. Website:__________________
3. Exact time:_________________
4. Color:_____________________
5. Number 1-100: _____________
6. Adjective:__________________
7. Adjective:__________________
8. Body Part:__________________
9. Adjective:__________________
10. Adjective:__________________
11. Beverage:__________________
12. Adjective:__________________
13. Measure of time (plural):____________

– – -(fold here) – – –

My Ideal Massage
I’m so (1)___________! I booked my appointment using (2)__________. When I arrived a few minutes before (3)__________, I was greeted by Dana. The room was (4)____________ and a confortable (5) ____________ degrees with (6)_____________ music playing softly in the background. Dana asked what I would like to focus on today. I replied that I had a/an (7)_________ (8)___________. My massage was (9)__________!
The pressure was (10)____________.

Afterwards, as she handed me a glass of (11)_____________, I said that I felt just like a (12)___________ noodle. I booked my next massage four (13)____________ later. I can’t wait.